Monday, June 24, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

March with dream

Update : 22 Jun 2015, 11:25 AM

Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. The last four lines is the motto for Mr Shakil Huq. His only dream is to collect matchboxes. We take a stroll through Mr Huq's woods, as he shares with us his passion.

"I was very passionate in collecting coins and stamps since my childhood when I saw my father, Azizul Huq, collecting match boxes. Collecting matchboxes and labels on the road was just amusing to me but fully embraced by others. Throughout my journey in India, I was accompanied by my wife, son, daughter and my in-laws. From road to road, stops being made, I noticed my lovely daughter, Tanisha, collecting matchboxes. It was a delightful sight, made me happy. That was a remarkable day in my life because my daughter and I, along with my son Rythom collected about 250 matchboxes through the entire journey. Even my Indian taxi driver collected match boxes." Mr Huq had no issues swaying back to nostalgia.

Once in his childhood, he went roaming around in Rangpur. He suddenly became fascinated by a blue coloured matchbox he runs into. He picked it up and thought about how it might have been made, by who and when. A little later, yet still in his early years his passion for collecting grew. Just a tad older, he flies for England. In his time in the UK, his attention to his early years dwindled a bit, not thinking too much on matchboxes. However, when returning to Bangladesh in 2010 from England after a long 10 years, he's fallen back to his beloved hobby. Since his physical return, his collecting began anew. He tells us the history of discovering the world of matchboxes.

"In 1826, the match is invented by John Walker - the father of match box,’’ Shakil begins. An interesting fact to note that the Walker match can be viewed at the British Science Museum. Shakil continued on, ‘’One day I got 1,500 hundred match boxes. It was quite surprising to me. I cannot forget that day. That was the happiest day in my life. My heart jumped with joy when I saw a huge number of match boxes sent by my friend abroad. It was a wonderful exchange."

We asked what would he like people to think of him or remember him by. ‘’People do not have to remember me but to remember my collection. I have the world’s smallest matchbox and another one can be considered ancient, made in 1879. This is what needs to be remembered. Now, I have over 15,000 different matchboxes from 108 countries."

He then expressed his plans on another dream of his, on his next target. ‘’Not target, it is simply a dream of mine to established a museum.’’ Mr Shakil Huq lets us know that recently his dream will shortly be fulfilled. As he is collecting match boxes and its labels, he is also designing for new matchboxes. Not only is he a collector he's also a designer of that which he collects. “Recently, two new match boxes are launching from Akij Group, which are designed by me. Moreover, for their new launching, Jamil Group have chosen a selected twelve match box designs by me, namely Banglar Rang. You can find these matches in the market now. You cannot imagine how happy I am to have reached these dreams.”

His joyfulness could be seen glowing from his face, as he told us one day he will design for an international match company. He's hoping one day his designs will have a world-wide launch. He does, however, possesses seven new designs. It is preserved specially for his museum, but if any domestic or international match company wants to market for their business, he wants to handle it willingly and professionally.

Collector Shakil Huq continues marching with his dreams. Something so small yet significant can mean the world to an individual. We're hoping everyone can show this amount of passion, even if it's something so small and simple.

If you want to know more about Shakil Huq please visit



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